Our boat, the Su Zhou Hao was of quite impressive size, but most of its big belly was filled with containers and only the three upper decks were accessible to passengers. The passengers were overwhelmingly young Chinese, then there were a few Japanese and a handful of Westerners. The trip from Osaka to Shanghai takes two full days. At first, the ship follows Honshu through the Inland Sea, then passes between Honshu and Kyushu and follows the Kyushu coast, before crossing the East China Sea (see here for the route). Of course, there is not much to do, except maybe watching out for flying fishes, which is very relaxing. On the morning of the second day, we finally said goodbye to the Japan coast and for a day, nothing but the deep blue sea (with some occasional freighters) could be seen.
During the second night, we had a patch of rough sea and the boat did a good deal of swaying. Luckily, I did not get sick, but I had trouble sleeping nonetheless. Even now that I am typing this, I can still feel the swaying. On the morning of the second day, the color of the sea had already changed from a deep blue to a muddy yellow. Most of the morning was spent going slowly up the Yangtze River, which seems to be an endless busy port all the way up to Shanghai. The skyline of Pudong is visible from far already. This last bit of the journey is probably the most spectacular. We’ll be spending a few more days in Shanghai, before saying goodbye to East-Asia for good…at least for now.